Dallas Stars Trade Negotiating Rights To UFA Defenseman Alex Goligoski to Arizona Coyotes For 2016 Fifth Round Pick

Pending unrestricted free agent Alex Goligoski doesn't appear to be returning to Dallas next season.

The free agency class is not "knock your socks off"awesome in terms of defense this summer. Pending UFA Alex Goligoski is one of the best puck moving defenseman available this summer. With the offensive numbers and first pairing minutes he has had in Dallas, and given he is 30 years old, Goligoski was likely looking for his last long-term contract this summer.

Given the Stars' current depth on defense, and prospects such as Julius Honka in the wings, it's not surprising that the Stars were unable to come to terms with the defenseman that is looking for a pay raise over his $4.6 million cap hit of last season. The Stars tried to negotiate a new contract with Goligoski, but couldn't come to terms with the pending UFA. Instead of losing him on July 1st for nothing, they traded his rights to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2016 5th round draft pick today.

The move is not completely surprising, and solidifies John Klingberg's status as the top puck moving defenseman for the Stars moving forward. Dallas has the following blueliners signed for next season that played at the NHL level last year:

John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya
Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth
Jamie Oleksiak

The expectation is that prospect Esa Lindell will be given the chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp. Still, you have to think that the Stars would want to add at least one veteran defenseman to this very young blueline. General manager Jim Nill has only made his first move on the chessboard of the NHL offseason, and the game is bound to get interesting.